Theories of world politics

  • Created by: becky.65
  • Created on: 23-11-19 17:13
What is realism?
For realists, the main actors on the world stage are states, which are legally sovereign actors
1 of 39
What is sovereignty?
There is not actor above the state that can compel it to act in specific ways so other actors such as MNCs or international organisations have to work within the framework of inter-state relations
2 of 39
For realists, what propels states to act as they do?
They see human nature as centrally important and they view it as rather selfish
3 of 39
As a result of the selfish human nature, what does world politics represent?
A struggle for power among states with each trying to maximise its national interest
4 of 39
What is balance of power?
When states act as they do to prevent any one state from dominating, thus world politics is all about using diplomacy to balance national interests
5 of 39
For realists, what is the most important tool for implementing states' foreign policy?
Military force
6 of 39
For realists, what type of system is world politics?
A self-help system in which states much rely on their own military resources to achieve their ends, cooperation can be achieved but the potential conflict is ever present
7 of 39
What is neorealism?
It stresses the importance of the structure of the international system in affecting the behaviour of all states
8 of 39
What is the international system?
A set of interrelated parts connected to form a whole. In realist theory, systems have defining principles such as hierarchy in domestic politics and anarchy in international politics
9 of 39
What is liberalism?
Human beings can be improved, that democracy is necessary for liberal improvement, that ideas, not just material power, matter and there is a belief in the notion of progress
10 of 39
What notions to liberals reject?
That war is the natural condition of world politics and that the state is the main actor on the world political stage, although they do agree it's important, they see individuals, MNCs, transnational actors and international organisations as central
11 of 39
How do liberals tend to view the state?
As made up of individuals and their collective, societal preferences and interests. They think of it comprised of a set of bureaucracies each with its own interest
12 of 39
In relations among states, what do liberals stress the possibility of?
Cooperation and devising international institutions in which cooperation can be achieved
13 of 39
What is the picture of world politics that arises from the liberal view?
A complex system of bargaining among different types of actors; national interests is more than just military, they stress the importance of economic, environmental and technological issues
14 of 39
For liberals, where does order in world politics emerge from?
The interactions among many layers of governing arrangements; comprising laws, agreed norms, international regimes and international rules
15 of 39
For liberals, why is sovereignty not as important in practice?
They have to negotiate with other actors, so their freedom to act is curtailed. Therefore, interdependence is critically important
16 of 39
What did social constructivism arise out of?
The disintegration of the Soviet Union and the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989
17 of 39
What is social constructivism?
It relates to a series of social-scientific and philosophical works that dispute the notion that the 'social world' is external to the people who live in it and is not easily changed. It argues we make and re-make the social world
18 of 39
What did Wendt suggest about social constructivism?
That the self-help international system is something we make and re-make; 'anarchy is what states make of it'
19 of 39
What so social constructivists see as a fundamental mistake?
To think of the world as something we cannot change; the seemingly 'natural' structures, processes and identities of world politics could be different from what they are
20 of 39
What is Marxist theory?
The most important feature of world politics is that it takes place in a highly unequal world capitalist economy
21 of 39
For Marxists, who are the most important actors?
Classes and thus the behaviour of all other actors is explicable by class forces. States, MNCs and international organisations represent the dominant class interest in the world economic systems
22 of 39
What do Marxists agree that the world economy does?
Severely constrains states' freedom of manoeuvre, especially that of weaker states
23 of 39
What do marxists view the area of world politics as?
The area in which class conflicts are played out
24 of 39
In the world systems theory, what is the key feature of the international economy?
The division of the world into core, semi-periphery and periphery areas
25 of 39
In all of the cores in the world systems theory, whats matters about the areas?
The dominance of power and it is these forces what ultimately determine the main political patters in world politics
26 of 39
For Marxists, what is the most important feature of world politics?
The degree of economic autonomy
27 of 39
What is Lyotard's definition of poststructuralism?
'Incredulity towards metanarratives'; i.e scepticism towards any theory that asserts it has clear foundations for making knowledge claims and involves a foundational epistemology
28 of 39
What does it mean to have a foundational epistemology?
To think that all truth claims can be judged true or false
29 of 39
What is poststructuralism essentially concerned with?
Distrusting and exposing any account of human life that claims to have direst access to 'the truth'
30 of 39
What did Foucault argue in relation to poststructuralism?
He opposed the notion that knowledge is immune from the workings of power; power produces knowledge and that all power requires knowledge and all knowledge relies on and reinforces existing power relations, truth does not exist out of power
31 of 39
What do postcolonial scholars question?
Whether Eurocentric theories can really purport to explain world politics as a whole or world politics as it relates to the lives of most people on the planet
32 of 39
What is neocolonialism?
The notion that Eurocentric theories help to continue to justify that military and economic subordination of the global South by powerful Western interests
33 of 39
When did post-colonialism become more popular?
Since the 9/11 attacks which encourgaed people to try and understand how the histories of the West and global South have always been intertwined
34 of 39
Traditionally, what has IR been more and less comfortable with confronting?
More comfortable with the issues of class and gender whilst the issue of race has been completely ignored
35 of 39
What did DuBois argue?
That the problem of the twentieth century would be the problem of the 'colour-line'
36 of 39
What is feminism?
The focus on the construction of the differences between 'women' and 'men' in the context of hierarchy and power and the highly contingent understandings of masculinity and femininity
37 of 39
What did Tickner argue?
That the seemingly 'objective' rules of realism actually reflect hegemonic 'male' values and definitions of reality
38 of 39
What do post-colonial feminists work at?
The intersection of class, race and gender on a global scale and analyse the gendered effects of transnational culture and the unequal division of labour in the global political economy
39 of 39

Other cards in this set

Card 2


What is sovereignty?


There is not actor above the state that can compel it to act in specific ways so other actors such as MNCs or international organisations have to work within the framework of inter-state relations

Card 3


For realists, what propels states to act as they do?


Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4


As a result of the selfish human nature, what does world politics represent?


Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5


What is balance of power?


Preview of the front of card 5
View more cards


No comments have yet been made

Similar Other resources:

See all Other resources »See all International Relations resources »